Beware of scammers pretending to be from Social Security

November 22, 2018

Tis the season to beware of scammers seeking personal information. The Social Security Administration is encouraging everyone to be on the alert to avoid fraud.

DENVER-- In the digital age, frauds and scams are an unfortunate part of doing business online. During the holiday season, Social Security Administration (SSA) has traditionally seen a spike in phishing scams, and wants to protect people as best can be done.

The SSA urges people to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as a personal Social Security Number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown individuals over the phone or internet.

If a person receives a call and but isn’t expecting one, they must be extra careful. If possible, always get the caller’s information, hang up, and if more clarification is needed contact the official phone number of the business or agency that the caller claims to represent. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who just called.

Note: There is a scam going around right now. Persons might receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security or another agency. Calls can even display the 1-800-772-1213, Social Security’s national customer service number, as the incoming number on a caller ID.

In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of a person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number (SSN), on file.

Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase a benefit payment, or that Social Security will terminate those benefits if a person does not confirm their information.

This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

Callers sometimes state that a Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. The caller then asks a person to provide a phone number to resolve the issue.

People should be aware the scheme’s details may vary; however, people should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided, as the caller might attempt to acquire personal information.

Social Security employees occasionally contact people by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a few special situations, such as when a person has business pending with us, a Social Security employee may request the person to confirm personal information over the phone.

Social Security employees will never threaten or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and the phone should just be hung up.

If a person receives these calls, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

Remember, only call official phone numbers and use secured websites of the agencies and businesses known to be correct. Protecting personal information is an important part of Social Security’s mission to secure today and tomorrow.

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